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Ministerial Corrections

Monday 22 February 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

The following is an extract from the Urgent Question on arms sales to Saudi Arabia on 28 January 2016.

Stephen Phillips (Sleaford and North Hykeham) (Con): As the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn) said, and as the Minister accepted, a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented magnitude has unfolded in Yemen. As we learned from the United Nations last August, Yemen in five months is like Syria after five years. It is critical that humanitarian aid gets into the country and that, for those purposes, the Red sea ports are opened up. Will the Minister say when he expects that to happen and what we and others are doing to ensure that it happens?

Mr Ellwood: My hon. and learned Friend makes a powerful point and I acknowledge his expertise and interest in the area. The logistics of getting humanitarian aid across the country are severely limited, because aid has to go through the main port of Aden in the south. It is therefore critical that the port of Hudaydah on the Red sea coast is opened up as soon as possible. That cannot happen first of all because it is in Houthi hands, and secondly because the cranes have been damaged, which is perhaps a smaller issue. It is a priority for the UN envoy, Ismail Ahmed, who will be discussing opening that port as soon as possible to allow aid to get in swiftly to the rest of the country.

[Official Report, 28 January 2016, Vol. 605, c. 430.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the hon. Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood):

An error has been identified in the response I gave to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Stephen Phillips) during the Urgent Question on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The correct response should have been:

Mr Ellwood: My hon. and learned Friend makes a powerful point and I acknowledge his expertise and interest in the area. The logistics of getting humanitarian

22 Feb 2016 : Column 2MC

aid across the country are severely limited, because aid has to go through the main port of Aden in the south. It is therefore critical that

capacity issues restricting the use of the port of Hudaydah on the Red sea coast are resolved

as soon as possible. That cannot happen first of all because it is in Houthi hands, and secondly because the cranes have been damaged, which is perhaps a smaller issue. It is priority for the UN envoy, Ismail Ahmed, who will be discussing

improving the operation

of that port as soon as possible to allow aid to get in swiftly to the rest of the country.


Health

GP Access

The following is an extract from Questions to the Secretary of State for Health on Tuesday 9 February 2016.

Ian Lavery (Wansbeck) (Lab): The same survey indicates that one in four people are now waiting more than a week to see their GP, and a staggering 1 million people are heading off to A&E because they cannot get an appointment with their GP. It is a total meltdown. What is the Minister doing about it?

Alistair Burt: There are 40 million more appointments available for GPs than in the past. The Government have made a commitment to transform GP access, and £175 million has been invested to test improved and innovative access to GP services. There are 57 schemes involving 2,500 practices, and by March next year more than 18 million patients—a third of the population—will have benefited from improved access and transformed service at local level. That is what we are doing about it.

[Official Report, 9 February 2016, Vol. 605, c. 1422.]

Letter of correction from Alistair Burt:

An error has been identified in the response I gave to the hon. Member for Wansbeck (Ian Lavery) during Questions to the Secretary of State for Health.

The correct response should have been:

Alistair Burt: There are 40 million more appointments available for GPs than in the past. The Government have made a commitment to transform GP access, and £175 million has been invested to test improved and innovative access to GP services. There are 57 schemes involving 2,500 practices, and by March this year more than 18 million patients—a third of the population—will have benefited from improved access and transformed service at local level. That is what we are doing about it.